ATV v. Mac Mini - IF money not issue and Mini used only with TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by kavika411, Apr 10, 2008.

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ATV v. Mac Mini - IF money not issue and Mini used only with TV

  1. Apple TV

    30 vote(s)
    65.2%
  2. Mac Mini

    16 vote(s)
    34.8%
  1. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Location:
    Alabama
    #1
    I know there are countless threads comparing the use of Apple TV with using a Mac Mini, but I would like to know which you would choose IF (1) money is not an issue, and (2) the Mac Mini can ONLY be used as a "media player" (Front Row, iTunes, whatever) with the TV. In other words, the Mac Mini will have no functionality besides getting media content to the TV (but does have internet access). Thanks.
     
  2. Motley macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    #2
    The only big differences (other than cost) are:

    mini: Can hook up something from elgato and record TV shows for playback without re-encoding them.
    min: Can just plop in a dvd and play it upconverted

    :apple:tv: Can rent and watch HD-content from apple.
    :apple:tv: Better interface than mini for use as a media player, no ever having to use a mouse and keyboard for operations.
     
  3. iFizz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    Third planet from the star called "Sun"
  4. mallbritton macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    #4
    Two words: AC3 Passthru.
    :apple:TV for me.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  5. iFizz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    Third planet from the star called "Sun"
    #5
    As I said above, I'll take a modified :apple:TV.
    However, you should have included a third option in the poll:

    BOTH. (MacMini as a DVR.)
     
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #6
    Mini does AC3 passthrough as well.
     
  7. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    Whitehouse, OH
    #7
    AppleTV for me. I want the simplest solution I can get that will do what I need it to do.
     
  8. mallbritton macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    #8
    Yes, but QuickTime does not. So I want the :apple:TV.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  9. mallbritton macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    #9
    Indeed.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  10. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #10
    its really about what u need. if you need a computer, of course Mini, if not, you can think more about ATV.
     
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #11
    Sure it does. I do AC3 passthrough with Quicktime and its surrogate, Front Row, on my Mini all the time.
     
  12. mallbritton macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    #12
    Really? Well, ya learn something new everyday.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  13. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #13
    Go Mini Much Better, you can use it as a DVR as well :D
     
  14. saltyzoo macrumors 65816

    saltyzoo

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    #14
    I'm currently running a mini in the living room and an ATV in the bedroom. I was watching a movie the other day in the living room (mini) 50" plasma and was really disgusted by the way a scene looked.

    Just out of curiosity I ran into the bedroom and checked out the same scene off the ATV on the 42". It looked remarkably better.

    So... I thought, does the 50" suck that much worse than the 42"? I grabbed the ATV, took it into the living room, hooked it up, and viola, significantly better image quality - off the SAME EXACT file. Switched back to the mini to verify, yep, no contest.

    Called in the wife, showed her both. Even she could tell a huge difference and she's really non-picky about image quality.

    Not sure if it's something in the decoder, or if it's just HDMI vs DVI->HDMI, but the ATV is MUCH higher visual quality.
     
  15. junior77 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #15
    What resolution did you set the macmini to? Is it the native resolution of your Plasma?
     
  16. saltyzoo macrumors 65816

    saltyzoo

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    #16
    I've tried every available resolution. Including the same resolution the ATV was set too. ;)
     
  17. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #17
    Hey Caveman you have any pics of your mini setup? Your site tells the components well enough. I'll get some of my Mini setup online too, though I ralize a big flaw with mine is I have a G4 and that has no surround sound output :(
     
  18. brad.c macrumors 68020

    brad.c

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Location:
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    #18
    I'm not pushing pretty pixels with my mini-TV set-up, since it's an old CRT. But to me, that was a selling point for the mini.

    As well, I just streamed an old Star Trek episode via the new Adobe Media Player to my TV, and was pretty impressed with the bitrate (over a 4Mbit ADLS connection).

    If you don't mind the computer front end on occasion (or more), you can do more with the mini. If you want a simple appliance your wife can use, get the :apple:tv.
     
  19. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #19
    I've owned both the Mac mini and Apple TV. Personally, I think the Apple TV does a much better job of scaling content through HDMI than the Mac mini does through DVI with my specific setup.

    It may be the Apple TV's internal NVIDIA graphics card, the Mac mini's 950GMA or even how my TV processes inputs but non-HD content is noticeably smoother on the Apple TV.

    Not to mention, the lack of built-in 720p support from within Mac OS X's display system preference is annoying. SwitchResX, while capable, is very difficult to use.*

    With that said, the mini has so many additional capabilities including the pairing of EyeTV.

    If I had to do it over, I would purchase the low-end mini for recording, iTunes gathering, etc and the Apple TV as the mini's media extender. You can get both for around the same price as the high-end Mac mini.

    * How hard would it be for Apple to include 720p support? Microsoft supports 720p monitors from within Media Center (2005 and Vista). However, I'm not sure if Vista supports 720p natively through its display properties.
     
  20. chas0001 macrumors 6502a

    chas0001

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Alicante, SPAIN
  21. brad.c macrumors 68020

    brad.c

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Location:
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    #21
  22. chas0001 macrumors 6502a

    chas0001

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Alicante, SPAIN
    #22
    I just repartitioned my hard drive and installed Tiger so that I can dual boot. It works really well. I think that the developer is working on a Leopard compatible version. We will have to wait and see.
     
  23. err404 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #23
    I'm fairly sure that QT on a Mac out of the box does not support this. Doesn't pass-through required Perian or some similar codec plug-in? Anybody doing video playback on a Mac should use Perian anyway, so it's an almost moot point. ;)
     
  24. err404 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #24
    The developer being Apple? ;)
    Seriously though, The Apple TV runs Tiger. Pulling a component out of one OS and shoehorning it into a different version could be very time consuming
     
  25. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #25
    Not Apple he meant the guy developing ATV4Mac so your post is wrong LoL.
     

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